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Ann Clin Neurophysiol > Volume 4(2); 2002 > Article
Ann Clin Neurophysiol. 2002; 4(2): 171-188.
Electrophysiological Tests in the Neuromuscular Junction Disorders
Seung Hynn Kim, and Hak Jae Roh
Copyright © 2002 The Korean Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Electrodiagnostic studies are valuable in confirming the diagnosis of a disorder of neuromuscular transmission. They are used to distinguish presynaptic and postsynaptic abnormalities. These studies provide an objective measure of the severity of the illness and may be useful in assessing the response to therapy. This article reviews the electrodiagnostic techniques that are commonly used today and highlights their specificity, sensitivity, and pitfalls. Repetitive nerve stimulation test (RNST) and single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG) are the most available electrophysiologic test in the diagnosis of neuromuscular junction disorders. RNS showing 10% decrement in amplitude from the first to fourth or fifth intravolley waveform while stimulating at 2~5 Hz is valid for the diagnosis of MG. The degree of increment needed for the diagnosis of LEMS is at least 25% but most accurate when greater than 100%. Abnormal jitter or impulse blocking are the appropriate criteria for diagnosis of NMJ disorders when using SFEMG. SFEMG is more sensitive than RNS for the diagnosis of disorders of neuromuscular transmission, especially in MG but may be less specific or may not be available.
Key words: Neuromuscular transmission, Myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, Repetitive nerve stimulation, Single-fiber electromyography
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